By Joe Chesser
We all want God to be generous with us. We’ve come to expect it. We’ve been taught that God loves to give abundantly, “good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over” (Luke 6.38). It’s God’s nature to give lavishly (Eph. 1.8). It’s a part of who He is. “For God so loved the world that he gave …” (John 3.16). God is generous in all kinds of blessings. He is able to “make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work” (2 Cor. 9.8-emphasis mine). God’s nature is to be generous in giving.
And we love to soak it in. We love that Jesus came to give us abundant life (John 10.10). We love that Jesus encouraged us to “Ask, and you will receive” because the Father knows how to give good gifts (Matt. 7.7, 13). We feel confident to pray for more … more money, more protection, more healing, more forgiveness, more time, more peace, more wisdom … more blessings of all kinds. That’s OK, because God wants to bless us abundantly, and He knows how and when to do so for our good (Rom. 8.28).
But something else God wants us to learn to do, if we haven’t done so yet, is to become like Him in our giving. Just like every other trait of God, He wants us to become like Him in generosity (Luke 6.38). God is not stingy, and He does not want us to be reluctant, skimpy givers. “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Cor. 9.6). God loves it when we purposefully plan to become a willing and cheerful generous giver (2 Cor. 9.7). In fact, that is something God expects us to become. God has promised that the more we learn to be generous in our giving like He is, the more He will enable us: “You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” (2 Cor. 9.11 NIV).
When our giving comes from a heart that loves God and seeks to be like Him in every way possible, God is honored and enables us to do more than we can imagine. How could the Corinthians give “beyond their ability”? The answer is that when they “gave themselves first to the Lord,” the Lord blessed them to give more than they could on their own. Even extreme poverty didn’t prevent them from giving generously, nor did it prevent God from working through them (2 Cor. 8.1-5). Generosity is not a matter of abundance but a matter of a heart trying to be like God.
There is no fear for ourselves in giving generously when we give with the motives of God. There is no reluctance or stinginess when we give with motives of God. There is no selfishness or greed when we give with the motives of God (James 4.2-4). Becoming like God in our giving will only result in multiple blessings, blessings we will cherish now and forever as we lay up treasures in heaven (Matt. 6.19-21). It’s a win-win, no-brainer offer from God. So, examine your giving to see if you have become like God.
- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland Church of Christ, Fruitland, MO. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org